A life under more than 35 degrees on the thermometer, with 90% humidity in the air: a life where every gesture counts, and where working as playing sports is no longer possible. Two regions of the globe have already reached this threshold, unlivable for humans: Jakobabad in Pakistan, and Ras Al Khaimah, in the Persian Gulf.
The heat and humidity cocktail can be fatal for the body. “When the air is dry, (…) we are able to withstand extreme heat, 60 degrees, up to 100 degrees if it does not last too long“Says journalist Valérie Heurtel. The body is equipped with a natural thermostat, which has the role of maintaining the temperature at 37 degrees.”In contact with dry air, sweat evaporates, and it is this evaporation that refreshes us, she adds. In air saturated with humidity, sweat has difficulty evaporating, resulting in the body overheating.”
What is the risk of living in such extreme conditions? “The temperature inside will start to rise, (…) we can start to have vision problems, dizziness, neurological disorders, it can end in coma, convulsions, and it can lead to heart complications or extremely serious kidneys“, explains Dr. Laurent Uzan, sports cardiologist.
Climatologists had predicted wet heatwaves for 30 years. Bad news, they have arrived. And the weather records of the past 40 years are worrying: if Pakistan and the Persian Gulf have already crossed the weighbridge, other regions of the world are not far from it, such as China or a large part of India. . The most threatened are the tropical regions and coastal areas, where the high heat mingles with the evaporation from the sea. The only solution to stop the machine: control our greenhouse gas emissions.